In 1989 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith delivered a Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on Some Aspects of Christian Meditation.
In Section V of that document, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) wrote:
“Just as ‘the Catholic Church rejects nothing of what is true and holy in [the great religions]’ neither should these ways be rejected out of hand simply because they are not Christian. On the contrary, one can take from them what is useful so long as the Christian conception of prayer, its logic and requirements are never obscured.”
As an increasing number of Catholics are exploring the health benefits of yoga, there is a growing debate among church members that suggests a genuine need for additional teaching and clarification from the Bishops. With that in mind, Patheos will occasionally present on the question, from a variety of perspectives. First up to bat: Catholic writer Mary DeTurris Poust shares her thoughts.
“. . .when it came time to meditate on a mantra, I didn’t want anything Sanskrit. I wanted Christian scripture, because that is my core. As I sat in half-lotus position with many other yogis-in-training, I breathed in and out to the words: “Be still, and know that I am God.” At a time of personal confusion and chaos, yoga gave me a peaceful place to reconnect with God, a way to listen to what He had to say above the din of my life, and an open door that led back to the richness of my own Catholic faith.”
This is an exceedingly interesting piece, and I think it is going to be a portal to some rich discussion and debate, as we anticipate further clarifications from the bishops.